Mental health and work ability

Work ability comprises an employee's skills, sufficient health and functional capacity as well as the relationship between the contents of their work and how it is organized. This means that work ability is not separate from the work and working conditions, but interacts with them in many important ways.

Image. Work ability is the sum of many factors that combine the characteristics of the individual, the workplace and work as well as management and the functionality of the work community.

The impact of a mental health disorder has on work ability and functional capacity is not directly proportional to the number of symptoms or the severity of the disorder. From the perspective of work ability, different disorders can also have very similar effects, such as difficulty in focusing or making unintended mistakes. Usually, changes in work ability are not permanent, but an employee may also experience excessive stress in tasks they have previously found easy immediately after a sickness absence, for example.

A job where the employee feels they can survive and thrive is a significant asset for recovery. Sometimes a decrease in work ability can be seen in the workplace even before the disorder is diagnosed. There are also situations in which an employee suffers from some mental health disorder, but its impact on work ability is very minor and does not necessarily occur at the workplace.

The effects of mental health disorders on work ability